Cultivating Self-Awareness Through Movement
“When the body moves, know it. When the mind moves, know it.”
A ll forms of meditation teach us to focus on one thing – whether it is the breath, a visual or specific words; the aim is to clear our minds of the myriad thoughts that float in an out all the time and to achieve a state of calm self-awareness in the now. Dynamic or Movement meditation is no different. What is interesting about this meditation technique is how natural and ‘normal’ it feels.
Dynamic Meditation* is a form of vipassana or insight meditation developed by Luangpor Teean Jittasubho . It seeks to generate mindfulness and insight through the rhythmic repetition of certain hand and arm movements.
You can easily practise this technique anywhere and anytime by sitting comfortably, standing or walking with your arms folded across your chest or behind your back. You can also meditate lying down.
Keep your eyes open, breathe naturally, observe every step you take and watch your thoughts. You can switch between the four basic postures whenever you want and stay on them for any amount of time that feels right for you. The continuous hand and arm movements developed by Luangpor Teean Jittasubho are simple and repetitive and a good way to calm your mind so as to cultivate awareness of your thoughts and feelings in order to clearly see things as they are.
Awakening Our Minds
This is exactly what our teachers and staff of Panyaden School spent doing this past week (28 Feb – 6 Mar). Meditation retreats such as this allow the staff to take time off to focus on knowing and strengthening their minds (one of the key principles of our school). Any insight developed will help in awakening oneself.
Luangpor Teean Jittasubho believed that “to awaken ourselves means we are not asleep. Our eyes are awake (we can go anywhere); our minds are awake (we watch our thoughts). When we are aware all the time, then panya (knowing or wisdom) will arise and when knowing arises, we are able to cure ourselves or solve our problems…anger, delusion, greed will fade away and be replaced with the calmness of freedom from attachment” (transcribed from youtube video ‘Developing Self-Awareness’).
Text and illustrations from Luangpor Teean Jittasubho, A Manual of Self-Awareness, p. 15 – 25. Self-published September, 1994, by Luangpor Teean Jittasubho (Pann Itapew) Foundation.
*also known as Mahasati Meditation
- A Study Of The “Dynamic Meditation” Practice Of Luangpor Teean Jittasubho by Mrs. Venica Pookgaman. A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfilment of The Requirement for the Degree of Master of Arts (Buddhist Studies), International Master of Arts Degree Programme Graduate School Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University Bangkok, Thailand 2550 BE
- Interview with Phra Ajahn Mahadirak Buddhayanando at Panyaden’s Meditation Retreat